slut-shaming, asoiaf fandom
Looking over some of the comments since the release of the new trailer and god, people who are slut-shaming are diametrically missing the point.
Because here’s the thing that often happens with women in Westeros: they’re built up to be images, not people. GRRM even makes it easy for us by giving the trifecta of feminine ideals in religious iconographic form: the Mother, the Crone and Maiden and it seems to me, that the ladies who bring out the most vitriol in fandom (in other words, not the Briennes, not the Aryas, not the Ashas) are the ones who are trying to - or forced to - occupy roles of perfect “womanhood”.
These women are constantly dictated to on how they should look, how they should behave. Fandom seems to always forget that Sansa Stark doesn’t hitch a wagon ride to King’s Landing to land her golden prince, no, she’s engaged to Joffrey by her family and her enthusiasm to marry him is partly natural, but it’s also partly knowing her place, it’s knowing that she’s expected to be excited at the prospect of marriage, excited at the prospect of being a wife and Queen and trying to fulfil those social expectations. Similarly, Margaery Tyrell presumably doesn’t want to seduce her brother’s lover away from him but she goes along with the Baratheon marriage and she has to sleep with Renly one way or another, because it’s what society demands, that the he has to have an heir and it’s her job as the good, dutiful wife to provide him with one.
So yeah, these women go ahead and accept social convention and then guess what, they get punished for it. Sansa spends her youth trying to be the perfect “maiden” (which involves yes, a great deal of superficiality because femininity, as a construct, is conditional upon appearance) and then is condemned for it within the books - censured as a shallow, vapid girl by the Lannisters or worse still, has her looks used against her when men come pawing. Similarly, Cersei doesn’t want to sleep with the Kettlebacks (not that there would be anything wrong if she had) but she does it, because she knows in their eyes - in society’s eyes - the only real power she can wield is of a sexual brand. And when she does, when she gives in to what she’s been told all her life, that her body is the only part of her that matters and so she better use it, society punishes her for the very thing they leave her with no other option to do. The slut-shaming is already in the fucking text. We as readers aren’t supposed to look at it and think, “Hey, that’s right, Sansa really does lead all these dudes on.” No, we’re not supposed to be that obtuse or that superficial in our reading, we’re supposed to look and go, “Hey, these women are being constantly screwed over by the social structures they live in and that’s a darn shame.” Why does that need to be spelled out for you, fandom?
Gigantic Slutwalk Auckland 2011 Post
Just got back from Slutwalk Auckland and it was AWESOMENESS. These are all my pictures, so excuse the odd bit of awful photography.
We started off at the bottom of Queen St, where I met this gorgeous lady:
Who looked SMOKIN’ and was generally awesome :)
The march went really well, if there was anyone shouting abuse at us, we couldn’t hear them over the sound of our chants: ‘NO MEANS NO, YES MEANS YES, WHEREVER WE GO, HOWEVER WE DRESS’ and my favourite ‘MY LITTLE BLACK DRESS, DOES NOT MEAN YES.’
This is my lovely friend Sophia:
Can I just say - this one is particularly good:
SLUTWALKEN (Christopher Walken does not approve of victim-blaming. Neither does my mate Joe)
One of my favourite pics from the bunch:
My absolute favourite from the bunch :)
This dude = awesome
I have mad respect for this lady - presumably taking a swipe at perpetual jerkwad Alasdair Thompson
And I met this gorgeous lady at the end of the rally, who if you can’t see has ‘Asking for It?’ written on her chest:
And finally - me and my sign, which was inspired (read: exactly the same but with less glitter) by the lovely coleytangerina’s sign at the Welly Slutwalk.
UGH I just noticed the red eye. Oh well.
Now, for sleep and booze. And for revision for my STUPID EXAM on monday.
It’s a Wheel: I Kissed A Girl Because I Like Kissing Girls
I Kissed a Girl
As a totally out lesbian woman, I experience homophobia in various forms on a regular basis. However, as I was saying to a friend recently, the thing that really fucks me off more than a vicious, scathing utterance of “dyke” from some ignorant bigot is when other, non-queer non-women, often heterosexual males, (though not necessarily always) try to reap some kind of benefit from my sexual orientation.
For example, a couple of months ago my girlfriend and I were walking hand in hand through the quad and a guy walking past us said “Yeah, good work ladies, you’re gorgeous!” I personally am offended by such an assertion, because it communicates to me that my sexuality – my love for my girlfriend – is approved only because we are acceptable to the criteria of the Beauty Myth.
We both present ourselves as quite ‘girly’, no shaved heads or facial piercings here (at the moment), and this seems to lead straight males to presume that we’re keen to play the passive Eve to their dominant, predatory Adam. Well, you know what boys, Eve’s leaving you for Jezebel, and she’s never returning to your stifling Garden of Eden. They’re going to the land of gentiles to raise a family of six cats, all named after famous feminist authors.
Another example is when, for some stupid reason, I find myself at a place like Maya – it is incredible how many times drunken men continue to shamelessly hit on me, even after I say “Look, buddy, you’re barking up the entirely wrong tree. I’m so gay I can barely walk,” To me, the continuation of flirtation after this point is extremely disrespectful, as it is a slight upon my choice (because of my sexual orientation) to not sleep with men. I believe that this is fueled largely by a male sense of entitlement to female sexuality. Don’t worry too much – it’s a result of a couple of millennia worth of patriarchal indoctrination, and it is possible to get over it with education and a refusal to remain ignorant.
In reference to this case, imagine if a gay man hit on a straight man. To straight men, if the gay guy continued to flirt with the straight guy after he had made it clear that he was heterosexual, it would be seen as inappropriate and quite disrespectful to the straight guy’s identity as a heterosexual. Yet, as we know, this kind of behaviour can even be called upon in the ‘justice’ system under the defence of provocation. What bullshit. Why is it okay for straight men to own their sexuality so much that they can use it as a defence against murder, and yet lesbians (and certainly straight women also) have the sexuality regularly pulled out from under their feet?
My sexuality is mine. Mine mine mine mine mine! I love women because I love women. My sexuality is not a dedication to getting heterosexual males off. I don’t want them to accept that I sleep with women because they approve – because their approval is based upon the fact that they feel they can gain something from it (lesbianism) – and therefore from me.
The discourse of “girl-on-girl/hot lesbians” derives from a patriarchal struggle with the concept that lesbians are women who are attracted exclusively to women. It is a denial of this exclusivity, and perpetuates the myth that female sexuality is passive and that are intrinsically designed for men’s enjoyment and fulfilment of desire.
I feel I must point out that this is not a sexnegative point of view I make. I would be the very first one to say that queer women’s sex lives can be incredibly hot, but I don’t want my sexuality to be viewed as open for exploitation by straight men. Nor do I deny that sexuality is fluid. I am comfortable entertaining the idea that it is possible one day I may develop a penchant for penis (if you will). But that does not mean that a woman’s self-identification as a lesbian and her decision to exclusively sleep with other women is any less valid, or that it should be considered a phase that we’re gonna get over once we have a really good lay, or whatever. What I’m advocating here is RESPECT. Aretha said it, and I’m saying it again.
This is why I disagree with the assertions made in last week’s Women’s Column about the song ‘I Kissed a Girl’ by Katy Perry. I feel that far from being “defiant in owning that she enjoyed it”, the lyrics of this song illustrate a submission by women to the omnipotence of men’s assumed virility. It is merely a case of lipstick lesbianism – a blatant attempt to turn men on for commercial gain. It’s disgustingly submissive, in my opinion. “I kissed a girl just to try it/ Hope my boyfriend don’t mind it”? Fuck your boyfriend, Katy Perry, and fuck your fauxmo exploits.
Original (web) article here.
I’m pretty sure I posted this aaaaaages ago, but I’m going to reblog again, ‘cause it’s awesome.
Also, Freya: I think you should change your blog title to ‘so gay I can barely walk.’
Because it’s awesome.